Post By: Molly Bohon
Picture By: Silvan Ridge Winery 

Since Valentine’s Day was earlier this month we thought we would talk about one of our favorite love duos, wine and food. Wine and food have always been such a classic couple and are great for teaming up together. But, specific wines tend to pair better with certain dishes in order to create the ultimate tasting experience. Because February is our month focusing on Big Reds, we thought it would be fascinating to learn how to pair a couple of our favorite Big Reds with some delectable dishes. There are many factors to examine before pairing a dish with one of your favorite full-bodied reds. It is fun to play around and experiment with different food and wine pairing combinations. One of the main things to remember is to match the body of the wine with the richness of the food. Make sure to consider both complementing and contrasting flavors when pairing wine and food together.

When dealing with a Grenache, this full-bodied red tends to be known for many fruit components like blackberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is a soft wine so it tends to pair better with not quite as heavy of a dish. Lighter meats like turkey, chicken, and other poultry drizzled with a fruit sauce make a great pairing for a Grenache to help complement the wine’s fruit flavoring. It also pairs nicely with salmon and vegetables like mushrooms, root vegetables, and eggplants because of the wine’s underlying earthy elements. A wine like J. Scott Cellars’ Grenache would be a terrific wine to try out some of these pairings with.

A heavy dish couples well with a full-bodied red because of the high tannin levels and richness of the wine. Another full-bodied red that many of our wineries sell in the South Willamette area is a Syrah. This is a heavier red that contains more tannin than the Grenache. Since this is a richer wine, it pairs superbly with beef, stews, and lamb. A Syrah tends to have a spicy, peppery, and dark fruit quality, so marinating meats in garlic, ginger, or even mustard laced sauces work wonderfully with it. Explore a bit on your own in the kitchen and try matching some of those hardier meats with Iris Vineyards 2012 Oregon Syrah.

Pairing the right full-bodied red with the right food can make your dining experience exquisite. Every wine has its’ unique element so make sure to experiment around with your pairing combinations until you find the perfect match. If you want some more practice on wine pairings check out some of our wineries’ websites for tasting notes like Domaine Meriwether Wines.